Here are five reasons why you should consider the bilingual advantage for your child, according to learning experts
20 August 2020| Last updated on 20 August 2020
Read on to find out why bilingual students benefit from learning a second language
At the Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai (SISD), academic experts don’t just want to create better students – they want to develop children holistically, so that the students get a headstart towards becoming successful and productive members of society.
In that respect, SISD often brought up the advantages of bilingualism for students in their education and the future workforce, but there’s so much more in store for children than just being better students or workers.
We look at 5 major benefits of bilingualism that can improve your child’s development, especially if they start their exposure to second languages in their early years.
1. Improved creativity
One of the most interesting benefits of bilingualism for children is that they may end up being better problem-solvers.
As a result, they may experience improved performance at school and in their careers later in life.
In addition, bilingual children may also showcase greater creativity, including better knowledge retention and improved focus.
2. Greater communication skills
It’s no secret that being fluent in more languages makes you a better communicator.
Bilingualism doesn’t just allow people to communicate with more people and more cultures, it also allows them to see things from different perspectives and viewpoints, whether cultural or otherwise.
That doesn’t just make for better problem-solving skills – it also promotes greater empathy, too.
3. Greater cultural awareness, sensitivity, and open-mindedness
Being able to see from multiple cultural viewpoints also leads to greater culture awareness in the long run.
Children are exposed to the perspectives of other cultures that might be very different from their own native one, and this translates to a stronger appreciation of the fact that other people may see things differently.
The result? More respect and sensitivity towards other cultures, leading to a more open-minded approach to life.
These are no doubt valuable traits for collaboration and cross-cultural communication, which many international students are likely to experience later in life at university, work, and travels.
4. Improved executive function
Executive function covers abilities such as a child's working memory, multitasking, and focus – all of which are valuable skills to develop for any environment. By improving one’s baseline executive function abilities, they can juggle multiple tasks, organize their thoughts, improve their project management abilities, and reduce their susceptibility to getting distracted.
The benefits prove themselves in a student's work, in play, in passion projects, and just about anything that he or she will put their mind and heart into.
5. Reduced risk of dementia
Neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia can be prevented or have a much lesser risk by exercising your brain and harnessing your cognitive functions constantly.
Bilingualism is shown to be among the different traits that are associated with delayed onset of dementia. This means that it literally be healthy to be bilingual!
SISD's bilingual support
At SISD, teachers and academic staff acknowledge not only the advantages of bilingualism, but also the best way to approach it with students.
The school provides full immersion in a diverse, multicultural environment, complete with mother-tongue speaker teachers and personalised education to provide support wherever needed. They have multiple bilingual streams for students to choose from, as well as after-school activities that can promote further language education.
Children at SISD have everything they need to build a strong bilingual foundation, and carry these and other benefits to the rest of their lives!